Prevention Science [PREV] pp1100-prev-480025 January 21, 2004 12:26 Style ﬁle version Nov. 04, 2000
Prevention Science, Vol. 5, No. 1, March 2004 (
Current and Future Challenges in School-Based Prevention:
The Researcher Perspective
Mark T. Greenberg
During the next decade we will see broad dissemination of a growing number of empirically
validated school-based prevention programs. The processes of effectiveness research, broad
program diffusion, and program integration at the school and community level will become a
central focus of research activity. The paper presents six future directions for research in the
ﬁeld of school-based prevention and health promotion. The directions include developing new
programs and models, developing standards and accountability systems related to school suc-
cess, movingfrom efﬁcacy to effectiveness research, understanding factors inﬂuencing program
integration, broad dissemination of programs and policies, and the sustainability of programs,
policies, and community partnerships. These future directions are driven by three signiﬁcant
research-to-service challenges faced both by practitioners and researchers that involve systems
integration across developmental stages, levels of care, and institutional structures.
KEY WORDS: prevention; schools; dissemination; implementation; sustainability.
There have been exciting advances in school-
based prevention in recent years. Yet these advances,
themselves, raise new issues in improving program ef-
fectiveness and developing effective model for imple-
mentation, diffusion, and sustainability. It is timely
that the National Institute of Drug Abuse has held
this meeting which is focused on how to better inte-
grate prevention research with the needs of schools.
During the last decade there have been signiﬁcant de-
velopments in school-based prevention, including in-
creases in the number and breadth of evidence-based
programs (Gottfredson & Wilson, 2003; Greenberg
et al., 2001), a growing literature on implementation
The framework for this paper was initially developed as part of a
presentation for National Institute of Drug Abuse Conference
“What Do Schools Really Think About Prevention Research:
Blending Research and Reality” April 3–4, 2003.
Prevention Research Center, 109 Henderson Building S.,
Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania
16803; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Greenberg is one of the developers of the PATHS Curriculum
program and has a publishing agreement (including royalties) with
Channing-Bete Publishers (Do not quote without permission).
of evidence-based models (Dane & Schneider, 1998),
and the development of community-school models for
effective diffusion of prevention (Hawkins et al., 2002;
Spoth et al., 2004).
As effective programs and policies undergo the
challenge of translation from science to widespread
practice, there is a need for greater integration with
schools and communities to build processes and struc-
tures that will insure high-quality implementation and
promote sustainability. There is little question that
further advances in the development and applica-
tion of effective prevention practices and policies with
schools and communities will require a much greater
degree of collaboration in which researchers learn
from educators and vice versa. A central part of this
collaboration includes greater attention to the im-
portant role that prevention programs and policies
can play in both increasing academic performance
and improving the quality of life of communities.
In this paper, I discuss six future directions for the
ﬁeld of school-based prevention research. To do so,
I ﬁrst brieﬂy review current accomplishments in pre-
vention research and then introduce three signiﬁcant
research-to-service challenges faced both by practi-
tioners and researchers.
2004 Society for Prevention Research